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Full text of "The Letters Of Horace Walpole Vol I"

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on the misery of Borne by impoverishing it, that there is no money but paper to be seen. He is reckoned to have amassed three millions of crowns. You may judge of the affluence the nobility live in, when I assure you, that what the chief princes allow for their own eating is a testoon n day, eighteenpence: there are some extend their expense to five pauls, or half a crown: Cardinal Albani2 is called extravagant for laying out ten pauls for his dinner and supper. You may imagine they never have any entertainments : so far from it, they never have any company. The princesses and duchesses particularly lead the dismallest of lives. Being the posterity of Popes, though of worse families than the ancient nobility, they expect greater respect than my ladies the countesses and marquises will pay them; consequently they consort not, but mope in a vast palace with two miserable tapers, and two or three monsignori, whom they are forced to court and humour, that they may not be entirely deserted. Sundays they do issue forth in a vast unwieldy coach to the Corso.
In short, child, after sunset one passes one's time here very ill; and if I did not wish for you in the mornings, it would be no compliment to tell you that I do in the evening. Lord! how many English I could change for you, and yet buy you wondrous cheap 1 And then French and Germans I could fling into the bargain by dozens. Nations swarm here. You will have a great fat French cardinal garnished
tete, nulle capacity, conrtise pour sa place et par le grand nombre de creatures qu'a son oncle dans le college. On verra an. conclave ce qu'il salt faire. 3Je gou.vernem.ent est entre ses foibles mains: il a min les finances surtout en pitoyable etat. Le penple crie hatitement de la raret6 et du manvais titre de 1'argent, se plaint du transport de Fespece a Florence, ne veut plus de pape qui ne soit Eomain ou de 1'eta.t
eccl£siastique.'
2 ' Neven de Clement XI, camer-lingue, extr&mement consider^ par sa capacite, nal et redout^ & 1'exoes; sans foi, sans principes, ennemi implacable, raeme quand il paroit s'Stre reconcilie; grand g6nie dans les affaires, inepuisable 'en ressonrces dans les intrigues, la premiere t§te du. college et le plus mecnaiit liomme de Eome.' (De Brosses.)